MUMBAI: In a relief of sorts to the Hindi film industry, audio and video piracy has now been brought under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act in Maharashtra, which offers stringent action against the accused.
Additionally, an anti-piracy cell is being created within the state government of Maharashtra to oversee enforcement related to the Act. The ordinance was signed by the governor SC Jamir.
After Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra took steps to curb piracy, veteran filmmakers Yash Chopra and Mukesh Bhatt have also requested Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit to take measures in Delhi to curb piracy.
"Piracy has taken a toll on our income and if this carries on how can we survive? I am very happy with the ordinance to curb audio and video piracy because it is going to make a landmark impact. Earlier people thought they could get away with it but now with the new law, which states piracy as a serious offence, where the culprit will be imprisoned for 90 days without bail will bring about some fear. I was in Delhi with Yash Chopra, Amit Khanna and Ratan Jain to meet Sheila Dixit who has been very supportive and has assured us that she will take strict action against piracy in Delhi," says Mukesh Bhatt.
Motion Picture Dist. Association (India), the Indian arm of Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), has been constantly working with the government in order to get this legislation in place.
Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) managing director Rajiv Dalal said, "We applaud the passage of this deterrent legislation that places piracy offenses under the Maharashtra state organized crime statute. Over the past several months, the release of the RAND report on ‘Film Piracy, Organized Crime, and Terrorism’ has established strong links between film piracy and organized crime/terrorist funding in India. This legislation is indeed timely, and will significantly curb piracy and funding to organized criminal and terrorist syndicates in one of the most important global film markets."
This legislation will help curb revenue losses incurred to the industry due to audio and video piracy. The cops are now empowered to book people involved in piracy under the MPDA, wherein an offender can be detained and sent to jail for a period of one year.